A question was submitted by Kelea Quinn about doping. She included links to a specific case, which I include (below).
Hi, Could you review some doping fundamentals for archers? This popped up in my news feed today https://www.facebook.com/WorldArchery/posts/10158343732078403 All athletes should always double check every single thing they put into their bodies. The WA doc is at https://extranet.worldarchery.sport/documents/index.php/documents/?doc=2467 Thank you. Kelea
I have had personal friends ask for help in this area when they advanced to international competition. Obviously, drug testing is a part of almost all international competition protocols because . . . people cheat. Most of the competition rules we use have some basis in cheating, so this is hardly a surprise.
When it comes to banned drugs, there is little grace extended by the system. And the system is also a complex beast. And it changes all of the time. Recently there was one point where the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned alcohol from three sports of which archery was one. So, you could have an innocent beer to relax at the end of a day and then next day get your urine tested and get banned. Archery has been removed from that list more recently.
The key finding in the report on the specific case linked to included this statement:
“The Administrator further noted in his opinion that the Archer, being always responsible for the use of the product, had failed to conduct the necessary further enquires on the ingredients of the products. He trusted the opinion of the physiotherapists but he did not verify their recommendation with his personal doctor or the pharmacist if the active ingredient was forbidden.”
Yep, the athlete is ultimately responsible for what they put in and on their bodies. If you contemplate competing internationally or trying to make a national-level archery team, you will be tested. The tests are almost always urine tests and they aren’t looking for drugs in your urine, they are looking for fragments of drug molecules, the result of your metabolism digesting those drugs, called “drug metabolites,” so mistakes can be made, but I for one wouldn’t want to be in the position of having the officials involved determining whether a mistake was made. (All such tests have false positives and false negatives—if you are desperate, looking up the percentages may help in an argument that your test is a false positive (assuming you got a positive test).
Do consult the websites of the two agencies involved (your countries’ and the world’s) if you intend on competing overseas.
Do be aware that if you are being treated for a medical condition, exceptions are sometimes made if that drug is the only drug that can be used to treat your malady.
Bottom Line You or someone on your team needs to build up some expertise and, better, some sources of information. You also need the ability to look up all of the ingredients in any medication you take (this now, thankfully, can be done online, but it does take some expertise). Sometimes the med only lists the active medication and barely mentions the others and that can get you into trouble. If a doctor prescribes something and tells you that it is “perfectly safe and should not affect your competition status” that is an opinion that only an anti-doping expert can make. You must follow up and examine the drug’s components yourself, or pay the price, which can be a spot on an Olympic or WC team, or even a medal.